If you tried to pop some popcorn in your microwave this afternoon and noticed some sparking inside of the appliance, then it is important you determine the root cause of the problem and fix it. While a sparking microwave is typically safe and the sparking typically has a simple cause, it is a sure sign of a problem that needs to be rectified. Thankfully, most of the problems that will cause a microwave to spark can easily be repaired at home.
Here are the four causes of this common microwave oven problem and how to fix them:
The Microwave's Rack Support is Worn
If your microwave is the style that has a cooking rack, then it will have a few small supports holding it in place. These supports are made of metal covered in a protective plastic sheathing. If the plastic has worn off of the metal supports, then the exposed metal will make your microwave spark when you cook food. If you see exposed metal on a rack support, then remove it and replace it with a new one.
There is a Piece of Metal Inside the Microwave
Any metal that is inside of your microwave will make it spark. Even if you do not see a forgotten spoon or fork on your plate, check for a small piece of aluminum foil or other metal contamination if you see or hear sparking. Remove the metal and the sparking condition will stop.
The Waveguide Cover is Soiled
Inside your microwave about halfway up one side is a small mesh square. This square of plastic-covered metal is called a "waveguide cover". The waveguide cover directs your microwave's cooking waves towards the food it is cooking. When the cover gets soiled with food splatter, it can make your appliance spark. If you see sparks, make sure the waveguide cover is clean. You should clean it with a damp sponge or paper towel.
The High-Voltage Diode is Faulty
Finally, in addition to sparking, if you have also been noticing that it takes longer to cook your food than it did previously, then it is likely that the high-voltage diode is faulty. You can purchase a new diode from your local hardware store and replace it by following the instructions on the package. If you do not feel comfortable making the repair, then you can take your microwave into a local appliance repair shop and they will happily do it for you.
Contact a company like J & M Appliance for more information and assistance.
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